What is Carbon Dating?

Ever wonder what eventually happens to that piece of gum on a sidewalk??? Well carbon dating may actually be able to tell a scientist when that piece of gum was actually chewed and can go back to approximately 60,000 years. Carbon dating uses naturally occurring radio-isotope carbon to determine the age of carbonaceous materials. The rate at which organic materials decay compared to atmospheric carbon, is what gives an approximate time of when that organism existed. Although carbon dating is approximate, this is the method archaeologists use in determining the age of fossils and other items. So next time you see gum on the ground, with carbon dating, future generations will have the ability to see how old it is and maybe even the flavor!